Splash Mountain Re-Opens with Changes
Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom re-opened on January 31 after its annual month-long refurbishment. While the ride is exactly like it was before – except for a new coat of paint and a deep cleaning – there is one major change guests will notice.
They’ve modified the logs to include lap bars, similar to those on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, next door. Since the ride opened, they experience almost daily (or hourly) emergency stops because of people getting out of the logs during the ride.
That’s right. There are people who – likely due to limited brain capacity – jump out of the logs and run around the building. They also have had numerous people – especially children – stand up in the logs during the ride, for various reasons. One person died on the ride many years ago because they fell out of the log while standing up during the ride.
The lapbars aren’t there to keep you from flying out of the log during the drops (it’s not even possible, unless you stand up), but they do make you feel a little more at ease. They’ve also gotten rid of that giant, nasty, padded “dashboard” that smelled like a dumpster. It’s just a small rubber rail on top of the seatback in front of you.
People have been worried that the new lap bars would cause them to feel claustrophobic or have trouble fitting. In our opinion, they should actually HELP with both scenarios.
Without the giant pad in front of you, the seating area actually feels larger and more spacious. And the lap bar is no more “confining” than those on any of the coasters. They also adjust almost infinitely, so if you’re on the plus side, you’ll still be able to fit.
Again, they were only put in to keep the troublemakers in check. If the loading Cast Members have a suspicion that someone is going to cause trouble (not to stereotype, but often rowdy teens), they’ll check the lap bars extra good before sending you off. Otherwise, we noticed on our numerous rides that they hardly even glance at them. They can tell who needs babysitting, and who doesn’t.
In summary, we give the new lap bars an A+